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Despite the existence of laws, ineffective enforcement mechanisms pose challenges for the protection of women.While reports of domestic violence have increased, complaints are often withdrawn soon after filing due to spousal reconciliation or family pressure.However, the Penal Code explicitly allows an abortion to be performed to save the woman’s life.According to the government’s latest report to CEDAW, in 2009 the Directorate of Health Programmes developed a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan, in part to ensure the availability of contraception in order to “reduce the high incidence of deaths from abortions performed under unsafe conditions.”Women’s access to land in Paraguay is guaranteed by Article 2 of the Constitution, providing that the government must “promote women’s access to land ownership, guaranteeing ownership through access to title deeds.” The Agrarian Act of 2002 protects the rights of women to own and manage land.However, the Joint NGO Submission to the CEDAW Committee in 2011 found that giving preference to women heads of households under agrarian reform is actually a barrier to ownership for many women.Further, according to data compiled by the FAO, customary laws and practices, particularly in rural areas, cause discrepancies between women’s legal rights to access property other than land and women’s rights to do so in practice.

CEDAW (2011) Responses to the List of Issues and Questions with Regard to the Consideration of the Sixth Periodic Report of Paraguay.The Civil Code of Paraguay was amended in 1992 to provide women and men with equal rights to enter into marriage.The minimum age of marriage is 16 for both females and males; however, women and men under the age of 20 require the authorisation of parents or guardians to enter into marriage.CEDAW/C/PRY/Q/6/Add.1, Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, New York.Joint NGO Submission (2011) Shadow Report to CEDAW: A report by civil society on the State of Paraguay’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

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